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Top 7 Innovative Inventions of 2016

Top 7 Innovative Inventions of 2016

In 2015, I published a viral piece for the Inquisitr about the most underrated inventions of the 2010s, so far. Last year, we had the DNA testing app, which shocked the world of medicine. Also, the condoms that change colors whenever it encountered STD antigens was another underrated, yet genius invention.

Due to an eye-watering amount of inventions were introduced to the world this year, I figured it would only be right to expose you to more inventions. The following inventions not only sold units like hotcakes, they also made some sort of impact in the industry they dominate in. Below are seven of the top innovative inventions of 2016.

Ready?

7. The Levitating Lightbulb

flyte-lightbulb
    Credit: FLYTE

    On TIME’s 25 Best Inventions of 2016, this product topped their list. It’s called Flyte and it is a lightbulb relying solely on electromagnetism technology to levitate and spin around. This bulb design came from the same man who invented the first levitating skateboard: Simon Morris. However, the board never managed came off the ground.

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    Inspired by the likes of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Morris says that Flyte has sold tremendously well since its release in January. A different line of ecosystem products is expected to be released in June of 2017.

    6. The Folding Bike Helmet

    morpher-folding-helmet
      Credit: Latest Gadgets UK

      With the helmet costing a little over $100, this folding helmet is the ultimate gift for any cyclist. Jeff Woolf, the inventor of Morpher, came up with this idea following a tragic accident that nearly took his life.

      One day, however, Woolf came up with the idea to create a bike helmet that can fit into any backpack. Utilizing Indiegogo, the Morpher concept was able to rack up over $300,000 in donations from the internet. The Morpher is expected to continue pushing units in the US and Europe.

      5. The StreetSaw Hoverboard

      streetsaw-hoverboard
        Credit: StreetSaw

        Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, StreetSaw’s self-balancing electric scooters are one of the greatest hoverboards ever invented. Its founder, Daniel Moravec, unveiled the first StreetSaw hoverboard at the Consumer Electronics Show, thus changing the personal transportation industry.

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        With millions of hoverboards sold, according to Roger Martin, a customer service representative at StreetSaw, more varieties and models are expected to be released in the future.

        4. PlayStation VR

        sony-playstation-vr
          Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

          In 2016, Sony decided to step its game up with a virtual reality headset. PlayStation VR, a great, powerful headset, is the next-generation of gaming. This VR product works with any existing PlayStation 4 console, increasing the intensity of your entertainment experience.

          It costs a couple hundred bucks, but it serves as one of the easiest ways to experience what all video games will look like in the future. According to VG247, although Sony showed up to the virtual reality industry late, it has already dominated all its competition, including HTC and Samsung.

          3. China’s Heavenly Space Station

          china-space-station-docking
            Credit: China Manned Space Engineering Office

            This invention is out of this world. Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, two Chinese astronauts, arrived in orbit with an orbital laboratory bigger than the International Space Station (ISS). The space station, Tiangong-2 (Heavenly Palace 2), was created with a wide exercise area and a medical experiment bay, TIME reported.

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            What is China’s next big move? Well, the Chinese government plans to launch an even bigger space station by 2018. It’s expected to be “comfier” than the ISS.

            2. “Real Life” Barbies

            real-life-barbies-mattel-toy-industry
              Credit: Mattel

              For the first time in nearly 57 years, Mattel, the creator of Barbies, gave the dolls a major facelift. Due to decreased sales, Mattel did something no one saw coming: they changed the appearance of their dolls into real-life human beings.

              Barbie dolls now come in different hair colors, styles, ethnic backgrounds, and shapes. Gone are the unrealistic, generic body figures that influenced young girls to follow. In 2016, the large move was marked as one of the biggest of all-time in the toy industry.

              1. The Speaker That Talks Back

              amazon-echo-speaker
                Credit: GeekLife

                Amazon has revolutionized the tech industry in countless ways. The Amazon Echo, a standard Bluetooth speaker, is one of their greatest inventions and best-selling products of 2016. Unlike Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, this speaker, using Alexa’s functionality, can use different apps, wake you up in the morning, call an Uber for you, turn off the lights in your home, and even order pizza.

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                It’s an extremely powerful speaker that can be purchased on Amazon for only $59, with the better models ranging from $99 and up. So now you know. Seeking your own personal assistant? Look no further, Alexa is here to help you anytime of the day.

                Bottom line: 2016 brought some amazing inventions that stunned the tech world. However, as we move forward, let’s see what 2017 will bring. Maybe a flying car? I’m crossing my fingers!

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                Jose Florez

                Mental Health Writer

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                Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

                2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

                Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

                Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

                Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

                Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

                Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

                By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

                The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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                1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

                Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

                Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

                Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

                When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

                The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

                Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

                To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

                Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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                We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

                It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

                After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

                Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

                Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

                To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

                Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

                Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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                When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

                Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

                We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

                When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

                Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

                2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

                If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

                The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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                To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

                With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

                So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

                • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
                • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
                • Say no to all else.
                • Say no again.
                • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
                • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
                • Meditate.
                • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
                • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
                • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
                • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
                • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
                • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

                Final Thoughts

                These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

                Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

                More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

                Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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